House for Democracy and the Rule of Law

About the Binnenhof

People during a guided tour around the Binnenhof

The Binnenhof (Inner Court) is a square in The Hague city centre. At its centre, one finds the Ridderzaal (Hall of Knights) and the square is lined by parliament buildings and government buildings. The square forms the very heart of Dutch government.

At this moment, the Binnenhof is being renovated. Therefore, it isn’t be able to visit the inner court. All the governmental buildings are therefore located elsewhere in The Hague.

Before the renovation, the Binnenhof was where the House of Representatives met, where the Prime Minister worked and where the Ministers held their weekly consultations. Once a year, the Senate and the House of Representatives met in the Ridderzaal in a Joint Session of the States General. This session takes place on the third Tuesday of September, i.e. Prinsjesdag (Prince’s Day). It’s also known as ‘Budget Day’, on which day the Dutch head of state presents the government’s plans for the coming year in the ‘King’s Speech’.

The oldest buildings at the Binnenhof were built in the early 13th century and so have seen quite a few residents come and go. From counts, Stadtholders and Louis Napoleon to the Reichskommissar Seyss-Inquart during the German occupation of the Netherlands.

ProDemos’ Visitor Centre can take you on a guided tour around the buildings that surround the Binnenhof.

Further Readings

The Binnenhof (also in German, French, Italian and Spanish)

The Binnenhof150

A publication about the history of the Binnenhof and its governmental buildings, such as the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Hall of Knights and many other historic places. The booklet is available at the ProDemos Visitor Centre for € 2,50, but can also be ordered online.

If you prefer to read it online, please download the pdf file:  The Binnenhof.

This publication is also available in: